Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:30 AM EST.
8:15 PM EST. Folks in Kansas City have a couple of choices tonight. Do they go to the ball game to watch one of 162 games or do they stay home to watch the Chiefs open up the NFL season against New England? The point is that the Royals will be playing to a small crowd tonight and those that are in attendance will be watching the football game on their phones. Aside from that, the recently cut Sam Gaviglio wil be making his first start for his new team.
Sam Gaviglio was claimed off waivers from Seattle by the Royals on Friday, Sept. 1. A four-start losing streak in which Gaviglio gave up 17 runs in 23 innings cost him his roster slot in Seattle. In this day and age of pitching desperate teams, you have to be pretty dreadful to be cut or put on waivers. Gaviglio started 11 games for Seattle and put up a 4.62 ERA with a nifty 48% groundball rate over 62 innings. However, he had a weak BB/K split of 21/40 in those 62 frames. That was his first taste of the majors and we've got a lot more minor league data that says Gaviglio is even worse. At 27 years old with a fastball that tops out at 88 mph, he's wasn’t exactly a top prospect either. This is a desperation pick-up for the Royals and so we’re in attack mode.
Enter the new Kyle Gibson. Gibson has been a perennial breakout target flop for a while now and given his mediocre stats and not so great underlying numbers for years and in each month prior to August, we can surely understand why not many are buying into his sudden success. We wouldn’t be buying it either but after looking under the hood, we’re convinced that something has finally clicked for Gibson. Gibson made some adjustments with his approach in August that transformed his numbers into impact-level status. He struck out 29 batters in 28 frames over his last five starts. His K’s/9 since the beginning of August is 9.1. That has the support of his elite 14% swing and miss rate over that span. Gibson is now throwing quality strikes. He has walked just five batters combined over his last five starts. When you combine great control, great strikeout numbers and an elite 52% groundball rate, you have a tremendous speculative play on a short priced starter here. Kyle Gibson has finally arrived.
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Minnesota -1½ +138 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.76)